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Family Album

This song is by Noël Coward and appears on the compilation album His HMV Recordings 1928 To 1953 (1993) and on the compilation album Complete Recordings Vol. 2: Mad Dogs And Englishmen (2001).

Jasper:
And now, my dears, a toast. Be prepared. To ourselves, a closely united family, and to the dear strangers who have joined us: I allude to you, Jane darling, and Edward, and my dear Charles.

Charles:
Does that mean we three may not drink?

Jasper:
Certainly not. Drink to yourselves, to each other and to the happiness of us all.

Charles:
Good

Harriet:
Oh, do be quiet Charles.

Jasper:
Where was I, where was I, where was I?

Jane:
To the happiness of us all, my love

Jasper:
Thank-you, Jane.
Here's a toast to each of us
And all of us together.
Here's a toast to happiness and reasonable pride.
May our touch on life be lighter
Than a seabird's feather;
May all sorrows as we pass
Politely step aside.

Jane:
A commonplace sentiment, my dear Jasper, worthy neither of you, nor of the moment.

Jasper:
Moments fly so swiftly, my love.

Emily:
I thought what Jasper said was beautiful.

Jasper:
Hush, Emily. Jane's chiding merely means that she would have liked to have thought of it herself.

Edward:
Get on with the toast, Jasper.

Jasper:
Where was I, where was I, where was I?

Jane:
Gasping in the deeps of your own imagination, my love.

Jasper:
Thank-you.
Now I drink to those of us who, happily united,
Ornament our family and share our joy and pain.
Charles, my friend, and Edward, too, connubially plighted
Last, my dears, but always best, my own beloved Jane.

Jane:
Charmingly put, my dear Jasper, if a trifle pedantic.

Jasper:
I do my best, my love, but my best is obviously unworthy.

Harriet:
Oh, do stop sparring, you two.

Emily:
Sparring? What about their expression?

Jasper:
Where was I, where was I?

Jane:
In command, my love, as always.

Jasper:
Harriet married a soldier
A man of pleasant birth
A man of noble worth
And finely tempered steel
Ready to die for the Empire,
The sun must never set
Upon his both brave but yet
Ambiguous ideal.
So now, dear Charles, I am saluting you,
That never setting-sun
Shall call you blest,
If far-off natives take to shooting you
You will at least have done
Your level best.

All:
Harriet married a soldier,
May life be bright for him;
May might be right for him
For ever and for aye.
Harriet married a soldier
And in the matrimonial fray
Harriet married a soldier
Despite his glories in the field,
He'll have to honour and obey
And be defeated till judgement day!

Harriet:
Oh, but how unfair of you all, I'm as meek as a mouse. Charles rules me with a rod of iron.

Jane:
Dear Harriet, we salute your strategy that makes him believe it.

Jasper:
Now we come to Emily, whose progress has been steady;
Only married two short years and three fat sons already.

Emily:
You make me blush, Jasper. We count the twins as one.

Edward:
Never-the-less, my love, they're normal babies, with a mouth each to feed.

Jasper:
Emily married a doctor,
A sentimental man,
A mild and gentle man
Of scientific mind.
Doing his best for the nation,
Forever dutiful,
A really beautiful
Example to the rest of us,
A challenge to the zest of us,
The noblest and the best of us combined.

Edward:
I accept your tribute, Jasper, while doubting its complete sincerity, but the surface value is warming enough. I thank you, Jasper.

Emily and Jane:
Edward.

* * * * *

Harriet:
It played another tune, I remember distinctly, it played another tune.

Richard:
You mustn't ask too much of it.

Harriet:
It was a waltz.

Jane:
Yes, yes, of course it was a waltz. Don't you remember, we danced to it years later at a ball, before we were married - it was this - it was this --
Hearts and flowers
Dreamy hours
Under skies of blue

Emily: [interjected]
It's remembered. Oh, How clever of it.

Richard:
Shh, Emily, That was their love-song.

Jane:
Two fond hearts so sweetly beat in tune
'Neath the midnight magic of the moon.
Petals falling,
Love-birds softly calling,
Life begins anew,
When Cupid's dart discloses
The secret of the roses,
Hearts and flowers and you.

Jasper:
The man who wrote those words certainly had a sweet tooth.

Emily:
I remember Annie singing that tune when she was doing the stairs.

Harriet:
I remember Nanny singing it when she was bathing Emily.

Richard:
I remember Father humming it between his teeth when he was whacking me with a slipper.

Charles:
An excellent example of two hearts beating to the tune;

Jasper:
A crude joke, Charles, back to the barrack room.

Jane:
We found it inspiring enough. Did we not, my love?

Jasper:
Olympian, the loveliest song in the world.

Jane and Jasper:
Hearts and flowers
By-gone hours
How the time have flown

Jasper:
You wore white camellias in your hair.

Jane:
All you did was hold my hand and stare.

Both:
Have we altered
Have our footsteps faltered
Through the years we've known?
When all our days are done, love,
There'll still be only one love,
You and you alone.

Jasper:
Forever, my heart.

Jane:
Till death do us part.

Burrows:
You rang, Mister Jasper?

Jasper:
Yes, Burrows. Would you like a little Madeira?

Burrows:
I should be honoured, Mr. Jasper.

Jasper:
Here.

Burrows:
At your service, always.

Jasper:
Thank-you.

Burrows:
Have I your permission for a moment?

Jasper:
Certainly, Burrows. What is it?

Burrows:
The musical box. There should be a little tune. A little tune from the years that have ended. Allow me. I drink to you all, and to you, sir, and ma'am. This house was happy when there were children in it.

All:
Let the angels guide you,
Be good and brave and true.
Let the angels guide you,
Oh do! Oh do! Oh do!
Spurn each vile temptation,
Avoid each evil lure.
Keep your conversation
Inordinately pure.
Good may be rewarded
In some indefinite place.
Be always virtuous just in case.

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